Is “quiet quitting” affecting your business?

Moira Grassick - Chief Operating Officer

September 06 2022

First published: 6th September, 2022 ------- Last Updated: 6th September, 2022

With almost two-thirds of white-collar workers stating that they feel disengaged from their workplace, it’s quite possible your business needs to address this issue.

The good news is there are ways to spot signs of disengagement and actions you can take to remotivate any employees who are doing the bare minimum.   

What exactly is quiet quitting?

There has been extensive recent coverage of a workplace phenomenon known as “quiet quitting.”

The term “quiet quitting” gained notoriety after US TikToker, Sara Marie posted a number of videos criticising the corporate culture in her workplace. The videos encourage employees to do the bare minimum as a way to redress a perceived imbalance in power between staff and their corporate employers.

With over 10 million views, the videos clearly struck a chord.

Quiet quitters don’t actually quit their jobs, they simply quit going the extra mile and opt out of doing any extra unpaid work.

What is the cause of quiet quitting?

Despite the catchy new name, quiet quitting is not a new phenomenon. There have always been employees who react to dissatisfaction at work by doing the bare minimum.

We are also coming out the other side of a very stressful period during which many people reassessed their priorities. In many cases, people are choosing to focus on family, friends or pastimes and to reduce their time spent at work.  

The rise in quiet quitting does not necessarily mean your team is no longer satisfied with their job, it is more likely that many employees have simply reset their priorities.

What to do about quiet quitters?

Firstly, if you notice a change in work patterns, it’s important to find out if your employee has simply reassessed their priorities or if they are quiet quitting in a resentful way.

While the first person may still be fulfilled by their role, it’s possible the second employee may be in the wrong job.

If you suspect you have some quiet quitters in your ranks, try the following:

1.      Hold an informal meeting

Firstly, it’s a good idea to have a chat with your employee if you notice a change in their work patterns.

The real purpose of this meeting is to find out if your team member is dissatisfied with some aspect of their job or has simply decided to reprioritise their time.

Before deciding how to proceed, it’s important to establish what type of employee you’re dealing with.

2.      Listen to them

Listening is a key leadership skill.

To understand if there’s a problem to address, you need to listen to your team.

When you encourage staff to put their ideas and concerns on the table, you show them that you hear them and appreciate their input.

If your workers feel their ideas are welcome, they’ll be more confident to speak up and show initiative.

If they think a reorganisation of their workday will help them do their job better, explore ways in which it could work for both of you.  

More initiative means more innovation – and ultimately, more success.

3.      Give regular feedback on performance

Regular performance reviews help strengthen the relationship you have with employees.

By setting aside time to sit down with them, you have a chance to praise your staff’s hard work and address any concerns. This reminds them of their value to the company and tells them support is available if they need it.

Your staff will want to know what they’re doing well and how they can improve. It helps them play to their strengths and work on their weaknesses, which makes it easier for them to progress and achieve their goals.

Learn how to improve your worker's experience and help them get to where they want to be. That way, you're more likely to keep them happy, motivated, and loyal to you.

4.      Play to their strengths

From a performance review, you learn about your worker’s strengths and weaknesses.

When you know your worker’s strengths, you can help them progress in areas they might be better suited to.

You build confidence in your staff when you give them work they enjoy. And they’ll feel more motivated if you give them the opportunity to put their skills into practice.

That way, you’re more likely to get results – and it’s a win-win for you both.

Staff who play to their strengths will be more likely to take on management roles and stay for the long term.

5.      Help them learn and develop

It’s important to help staff develop and gain skills.

You might do this by giving them important tasks. This demonstrates your faith in their ability, which helps them build confidence in themselves.

You don’t want to overwhelm your workers with difficult tasks, so give them lots of support. Show that you trust them to handle the responsibility but let them know you’re there if they need a helping hand.

Staff who lack opportunities to develop or use their skills might lose faith in their abilities. You could help them become a key player in your company by enrolling them in training courses.

Giving your staff an opportunity to learn and develop their skillset is good for you both.

By opening up doors for them, they’ll be able to contribute more and progress within your company, rather than looking for opportunities elsewhere.

6.      Support them if they make mistakes

It’s inevitable that staff will make mistakes from time to time.

Encourage them to take it on the chin. Mistakes are a learning curve and an opportunity for development. If staff are worried, you’ll punish them for making a mistake, they might make more mistakes out of stress.

When you take away that fear of failure, staff will feel safer contributing and experimenting.

Let them know that mistakes are okay. It’s all a part of the journey to reaching their full potential. When you support your staff every step of the way, they’ll soon get to the top.

Remotivate quiet quitters with Peninsula HR support

Discover the best ways to develop your team with expert HR support. As a Peninsula client, your advisers will help you do right by your workers. Just give us a call.

If you want to set up an incentive scheme, you’ll need to settle on objectives, targets, and rewards that work for you and your team.

Introducing a new incentive scheme would also involve updating your staff contracts – which might sound complicated, but with Peninsula it’s simple.

If you’re not yet benefiting from Peninsula’s service, call us on 1800 719 219 for free expert advice today.

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